Friday, February 21, 2014

Inspiration for DFT

Dear Diary,

Yesterday, I heard a meaningful and inspirational speech from Kieron.

Honorary graduate student Fan asked Kieron what he thought of some tools used in DFT.  Kieron mused on the usefulness versus utility of reformulations of the same problem.  Quite wisely, Kieron noticed that some alternative formulations of quantum mechanics have a harder time bringing new insight to the table (he didn't mention any names, but I'm looking at you, Bohmian mechanics!).

I asked him what DFT brings to the community.  Kieron indicated that there is a structure that is of yet unknown that the community would benefit greatly from by reaching it.  My answer was the Hohenburg-Kohn theorems which I can't easily think of a good analogy with a quantum field theory treatment.  That you can describe everything except the potential is one functional.  That's quite an insight.  I bet Kieron is right and more things are around the corner.

Hopefully, I can get some of these things in front of me out of the way and get closer to finding out that unknown thing!  And get working on that paper that I'm stalled on!

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